The Emerging Researchers Programme

The Emerging Researchers Programme (ERP) is an intensive course in critical, ethical and collaborative theory, methodology and practise, which is divided into two parts.

The programme is designed for students with a strong interest in social justice issues (particularly those directly posed or exacerbated by climate change), critical theory, and who intend to continue to postgraduate education and/or enter into research/policy-oriented careers after graduation.

Given the current circumstances, the programme will be taught via dual delivery, not requiring students to be in St Andrews. (Max.) five spaces will be available for the 2022 cohort. 

Part 1: Critical Theory, Methodology, and Practice Course

The Critical Theory, Methodology, and Practice (CTMP) Course extends over the second semester of 3rd year, on top of the student’s chosen modules. There are up to five places available on the course, which will consist of eight small and intensive tutorials with TGP-affiliated staff and other academics across the spectrum of social sciences at the University of St Andrews, each session lasting 1.5 hours long. Drawing  from  both non-Western  and  Western  methodological  frames,  and  with  a  focus upon ‘decolonising knowledge’, the workshop will provide students with a grounding in critical, participatory and anti-oppressive  research  methodologies  that  question  and  politicize  research processes  such  as  ‘fieldwork’  and ‘data analysis’, foreground the subjectivity of the researcher as a salient factor in research design, and engage in a progressive struggle to advance social justice aims.

Learning goals include:

  • Evaluate individual pieces of research in light of their epistemological and ontological assumptions
  • Identify and assess the contributions critical, participatory and anti-oppressive methodologies make to social research
  • Outline and demonstrate critical awareness of the ways in which critical and anti-oppressive research methodologies contribute to collective emancipatory goals
  • Apply  key  elements  of  critical  and  anti-oppressive  research  methodologies  to  develop  your  own approach to critical research.

Students will then be given fieldwork simulations whereby they will conduct qualitative or quantitative method around a given research question. The final portion is a 4,000 word a literature review in preparation for their research projects, due at the end of the semester. Students will have to prepare for a 15-minute round-table discussion of their paper at the end of the programme.

Examples from the reading list include: 

  • Brown, Lesli and Susan Strega, (ed.), Research As Resistance: Critical, Indigenous, and Anti-Oppressive Approaches. Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press/Women’s Press, 2005.
  • Datta, R, Khyang, UN, Khyang, HKP, Kheyang, HAP, Khyang, MC, Chapola, J (2015) Participatory action research and researcher’s responsibilities: An experience with Indigenous community. International Journal of Social Research Methodology 18(6): 581–599. 
  • hooks, bell, Teaching to Transgress, Routledge, 1994.
  • Moje, EB., ‘Changing our minds, changing our bodies: Power as embodied in research relations. Qualitative Studies in Education 13(1), 2000,15–42.
  • Smith, Linda Tuhiwai, Decolonizing Methodologies, Zed Books, 2012.

Part 2: Research Project

During the first semester of 4th year, ER’s will undertake a research project on a topic of their choice that falls under TGP’s remit of ‘Education for Climate Justice’. ER’s will be expected to tailor the language of this project for a non-academic audience. Projects will be supervised by TGP staff. At the end of the semester, the research will be adapted to create a policy resource. This will be accompanied by a presentation to staff and postgraduates within the School of IR.

Click below to read our Emerging Researchers 2019 reflections’ on the programme in full. Also to be found on our Facebook page @thirdgenproject in the ‘notes’ section.

Emerging Researchers Network

Cohort 2022

Pia Tiwari

Pia is studying International Relations and Social Anthropology at the University of St Andrews. She is interested in critical and Indigenous research methodologies and developing post-colonial critiques of climate research. 

Marcelina Lekawska

Marcelina is studying Biology and Sustainable Development at the University of St Andrews. She is interested in the role of education in catalysing just climate action and in the intersection of climate change and gender-based violence.

Cate Bone

Cate is studying English at the University of St Andrews. She is interested in exploring current climate policy and how it affects the working class in the UK.

Yasemin Cag

Yasemin is studying International Relations at the University of St Andrews. She is interested in learning about Indigenous political thought and how its implementation could help us solve the climate crisis.

Cohort 2021

Akshika Kandage

Akshika is studying International Relations and Philosophy at the University of St Andrews. As an Emerging Researcher she is  particularly interested in navigating effective measures and policies associated with alleviating environmental and social injustices. She hopes to research and introduce guidelines and a framework to assess the efficacy of such policies and legislation in both low-income and high-income regions. 

Keira Logan

Keira is studying International Relations and Arabic at the University of St Andrews. She is excited to expand her knowledge of Critical Theory, as she believes this school of thought holds the key to understanding the nuances and particularities of global events. She looks forward to applying what she learns to her research project investigating the differential effects of climate change on LGBT+ communities. 

Jenny Park

Jenny is studying Geography at at the University of St Andrews. She is especially interested in the rights and wellbeing of women and LGBT+ individuals within indigenous communities and their disproportionate risk to climate change. She is excited to critically explore western research methodology and to learn about ethical and collaborative research methodologies.  

Hannah Weir

Hannah is studying Social Anthropology and International Relations at The University of St Andrews. As an Emerging Researcher she is interested in exploring the didactic role of storytelling in school curricula and as is keen to support further developments of TGP’s project ‘Breaking the 4th Wall of Climate Migration’. 

Cohort 2020

Kristopher Leask

Kristopher graduated from the University of St Andrews in 2021 with a degree in International Relations. 

Mathilde Roze

Mathilde graduated from the University of St Andrews in 2021 with a degree in Sustainable Development.

Morgan Young

Morgan graduated from the University of St Andres in 2021 with a degree in International Relations.

Cohort 2019

Tanaya Jain

Tanaya graduated from the University of St Andrews in 2020 with a degree in International Relations and Psychology.

Read Tanaya’s reflections on the programme here.

Mathilde Pasta

Mathilde graduated from the University of St Andrews in 2020. 

Read Mathilde’s reflections here.

Juanita Barreto Monje

Juanita graduated from the University of St Andrews in 2020 with a degree in Social Anthropology and International Relations. 

Read Juanita’s reflections here


Jessica Leech

ERP Coordinator 2019

Jessica took over the ERP coordinator position for the first half of 2019 when Jamie was studying abroad. Jess continues to be involved with TGP as part of the research team for Climate of Violence. 

Jamie Hinch

ERP Coordinator 2018-2020

Jamie joined TGP in 2018 while working with Ali Watson as a Laidlaw scholar at the University of St Andrews. Having graduated with a joint honours degree in Social Anthropology and International Relations in 2020, Jamie will begin a research project in September 2020, which uses digital storytelling to document the experiences of island communities facing climate change in the North Sea. Jamie’s end goal is to create an open access online story-bank of community narratives to elevate frontline voices in global climate conversations.

Laoise Rogers

ERP Coordinator 2020-2021

Laoise is a fourth-year undergraduate International Relations student at the University of St Andrew’s and joined TGP in 2020 as Emerging Researchers Programme coordinator. In the summer of 2020, Laoise conducted research as a Laidlaw scholar, under the supervision of Ali Watson. It discussed how non-profit NGO’s, whose work focuses on climate adaptation, work ethically with local communities in the face of climate change and other contextual challenges in Guatemala. Laoise’s other interests include refugee and forced migration studies, human rights and climate change policy.